Former England captain David Gower feels that World Test Championship can revive the interest in the longest format among the fans if marketed in proper manner with practical tweaks.
Gower along with former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer and former Pakistan captain Mushtaq Mohammad were participating in a “public conversation” held here on Friday on how to save Test cricket.
“There is already a move towards having World Test Championship (in 2019), which I think in the end is good. What the people want is great players doing great things. If you have good pitches, which produce good cricket, people will be interested,” Gower said.
“If Virat Kohli (given his extraordinary following) says Test cricket is important, then people will listen to him,” the former England captain added.
Gower feels that market forces should come together to devise a strategy that will bring in more crowd at Test match venues across the globe.
“You’ve got to go to market forces and if need be just open the gates. Because where is the money coming from? The money is coming from the television.”
Engineer supported Gower, but with a caveat, saying, “Open the gates, yes of course. But with due respect, are TV going to pay that kind of money if England plays suppose Nepal?”
Mushtaq agreed the cost needs to be factored in. “If you want Test cricket to survive, you have got to reduce the entrance fees.” He was not in favour of “freebies”, though.
All three were in favour of small tweaks in the longest format to make it more viewer-friendly.